Alex Ferguson believes the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez may seek to leave high-flying Leicester City for European giants such as Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Leicester have confounded all expectations this season and, following Saturday’s 3-0 victory at Swansea City, sit top of the Premier League after 15 games.
That win at the Liberty Stadium came courtesy of a Mahrez hat-trick, with the Algerian and Vardy – who leads the Premier League scoring charts after finding the net in a record 11 straight matches – the stars of the show at the King Power Stadium.
Legendary United manager Ferguson has been hugely impressed by Claudio Ranieri’s team, and feels they are capable of lasting the course and winning the title.
But the Scot has also warned that such a high level of performance will inevitably lead to interest from bigger clubs – something he had to contend with when in charge of Aberdeen.
“When Aberdeen won the European Cup Winners’ Cup, it was the greatest moment for Aberdeen in their history and it was the worst moment too,” Ferguson explained at the TechCrunch Disrupt London event.
“Five players left within a year; Gordon Strachan went to Manchester United, Mark McGhee went to Hamburg.
“Leicester may have a situation where some players love being there and don’t want to move and they will have some who do want to move to Manchester United, or Liverpool or Real Madrid. It is natural, it is progress.”
Ferguson went on to lavish praise on Vardy, who was playing non-league football just three-and-a-half years ago.
“My son Darren, when he was at Peterborough, almost signed Vardy, but Leicester City came in at the time,” he added.
“There was a great article in the Daily Telegraph by Tim Sherwood about non-League football, about how people are under-estimating it. That is another example. Stuart Pearce and Cyrille Regis came from non-league football. This is something that maybe is being overlooked.
“Vardy is a great example of never giving in and keeping a great belief in himself. He has got certain assets that suit modern-day football – he is aggressive, he is quick, he has got energy and he has got a goal in him.”